Naturally, when I visit there during the season that citrus is king, I'm eager to try some of the citrus recipes I've been saving. A recent issue of Southern Living magazine dedicated itself to extolling what it called “the incomparable sassy tartness and vibrant good looks of citrus” and helped out with several delicious recipe suggestions that I’m eager to try with some of the fruit I've collected.
However, the first of my citrus treats—Citrus Bulgur Salad—was prepared with a recipe from the Chickasaw Nutrition Services. I'll be the first to admit that not only had I never cooked with bulgur, I really wasn’t familiar with the product and had to look it up on the Internet so I’d even know in which section of the grocery to search for it. I learned that bulgur, a whole-grain wheat product, is considered one of the best ways to incorporate whole grain into the diet. As a growing number of people know, diets rich in whole-grain foods may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Mixing the bulgur with sections of a fresh orange and grated orange peel, along with tomato, fresh parsley, onion, and seasonings, made an amazing salad. I started out by cooking the bulgur in a covered pan much as one would cook brown rice: two parts water to one part bulgur. After it simmered for about 20 minutes and all the water in the pan was absorbed, it was ready to cool and then add to the remaining ingredients.
The recipe with the odd name—Citrus Bulgur Salad—was excellent; the oranges made an dynamite pairing with the nutritious grains. I had stretched and grown and learned a new ingredient; the salad it made was fit for any family gathering or buffet table. Best of all, eating just one portion of bulgur provides nearly all of USDA's recommended daily dietary guidelines for whole grains. One serving also contains only 70 calories, 5 mg sodium, and 0 mg cholesterol. Now who can argue with that?
Citrus Bulgur Salad
1/2 cup bulgur, uncooked
1 large orange, peeled, membrane removed, chopped
1/4 cup medium red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
3/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cook bulgur as directed on package, omitting salt. In a medium bowl toss bulgur and remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Makes 6 1/2-cup servings.